Tablet Plus members receive VIP upgrades and amenities at a collection of the world’s most exciting hotels. In the Spotlight is a regular series dedicated to celebrating these extraordinary spaces — like the hotels below, which represent just a handful of our Plus hotels in France.

Click on each hotel to see all of the privileges they offer. Click here to learn more about Tablet Plus.

Hôtel Juana

Cannes, France

Though it’s passed through varying degrees of cool, from golden age to slightly passé and back again and again, it’s by now clear that the French Riviera is just one of those timeless destinations. The perennial warm-weather migration back to this stretch of the Mediterranean is due in part to the smart recycling of a handful of grand old hotels to reflect the tastes of contemporary sun-worshippers. The Hotel Juana, located in the resort of Juan-les-Pins near Cap d’Antibes, is a product of that particular revolution, infusing traditional luxury and historic architecture with a fashionable modern sensibility and an understated air that’s well-suited to its seaside location.

Le Domaine du Mas de Pierre

Saint Paul de Vence, France

These days, with the Riviera as crowded as it is and Provence practically a borough of the city of London, the greatest luxury to be had in the south of France is a little privacy. The most sought-after experience is that of being a guest in a private home — which goes a long way to explaining the appeal of a place like Le Mas de Pierre.

Château Le Cagnard

Cagnes-sur-Mer, France

If you’re running an upscale hotel in a quaint medieval village on the Côte d’Azur, there’s no sense in trying to reinvent the wheel. Go ahead and give the people what they want: history, elegance, antique furniture and free-flowing wine. That’s what you can expect at Chateau Le Cagnard in Haut-de-Cagnes, a place that’s served as inspiration for Renoir, and a getaway for the likes of Brigitte Bardot and Greta Garbo.

Castelbrac Dinard

Dinard, France

Located on Brittany’s Côte d’Émeraude, the seaside town of Dinard is sometimes referred to as the “Cannes of the north.” It’s a nickname that tells you practically everything you need to know about the place: it’s elegant, historic, exclusive, famous for its glamorous old architecture and white sandy beaches, a longtime getaway for the French and English elite. Naturally, there are a handful of classic hotels, grand dames on the beachfront promenade, to choose from. And then there’s the newly opened Castelbrac Dinard.

L’Eautel Toulon Port

Toulon, France

If you know any French at all you can see L’Eautel Toulon Port’s maritime theme coming from a thousand miles away, but as always, it’s not the concept that matters so much as the execution — and here the nautical color scheme and the graphic wave motif are applied with a light touch, lending an air of whimsical fun to this 62-room boutique hotel in Toulon, on the Mediterranean coast between Marseille and St. Tropez. This is a working port city, not an idle beach town; L’Eautel is set on the edge of the old town center, right across from the maritime museum and the Arsenal Toulon naval base.

Château de Fonscolombe

Aix-en-Provence, France

There are castles, and then there are castles. This one dates back to the 1700s, which explains its unusual Italianate style, and only became a hotel in 2017, after three centuries as a private estate. Its setting, just to the north of Aix-en-Provence, endears it to wine lovers, as does the Fonscolombe winery itself, which produces organic reds, whites, and rosés. But the key to its appeal is that it’s quite simply the most luxurious hotel for many miles around.

Hôtel Sainte Victoire

Aix-en-Provence, France

Fine art enthusiasts may be familiar with Mont Sainte-Victoire, a series of oil paintings by Post-Impressionist master Paul Cézanne. The series depicts one of the most iconic mountain ranges in southern France, and while the paintings are obviously breathtakingly beautiful, it’s a whole other story seeing the mountains in person — which brings us to Hotel Saint-Victoire and its front-row views.

Le Pigonnet

Aix-en-Provence, France

French landscapes have inspired countless artists. Van Gogh liked the light of Arles, while Monet’s backyard garden in Giverny was the subject of his famous Water Lilies. Paul Cézanne lived and worked in Aix-en-Provence: back when Hotel Le Pigonnet was a private estate, he used to carry his easel through the gardens, taking his own painterly snapshots of the old chestnut trees and the views of Sainte-Victoire mountain in the distance.

Château d’Audrieu

Audrieu, France

You couldn’t ask for a more picture-perfect example of a French castle hotel than Normandy’s Château d’Audrieu, an 18th-century monument set on a 60-acre estate between Caen and Bayeux. The rooms and suites combine throwback opulence with modern comforts, and the Sothys spa is accompanied by a lovely outdoor pool. Chef Olivier Barbarin is in his second decade of service at the restaurant, Le Séran, whose cellars contain some 200 wines. Meanwhile the 1715 Bar, named for the year of the Château’s construction, is open all day for light bites, petits fours, and anything from whiskey to Champagne.

Hôtel & Restaurant LALIQUE – Château Lafaurie Peyraguey

Bommes, France

You don’t have to know the whole backstory to have a guess at what kind of place Hôtel & Restaurant Lalique – Château Lafaurie Peyraguey is going to be. But this collaboration between Lalique, the venerable glassmaker, and Lafaurie-Peyraguey, the Sauternes winery that’s now owned by the Lalique Group’s chairman, is a unique one. With just thirteen suites, it’s modestly sized, but in terms of luxury, its ambitions are sky-high.

Château de Courcelles

Courcelles-sur-Vesle, France

At the foot of the Alpilles, Provence’s pocket-sized mountain range, and just outside of the village of Eygalières, is where you’ll find one of the most tranquil boutique hotels in all of France. Domaine la Pierre Blanche may not reinvent Provençal hospitality, but who says it needs reinvention? Sometimes excellence is about taste and execution, the contrast of rough-hewn stone walls and weathered wooden doors with well-chosen modern furnishings and light, breezy contemporary décor.

Domaine la Pierre Blanche

Eygalières, France

At the foot of the Alpilles, Provence’s pocket-sized mountain range, and just outside of the village of Eygalières, is where you’ll find one of the most tranquil boutique hotels in all of France. Domaine la Pierre Blanche may not reinvent Provençal hospitality, but who says it needs reinvention? Sometimes excellence is about taste and execution, the contrast of rough-hewn stone walls and weathered wooden doors with well-chosen modern furnishings and light, breezy contemporary décor.

Baumanière Les Baux de Provence

Les Baux de Provence, France

Les Baux de Provence is perhaps one of the most spectacular and unsettling of nature’s creations. These whitewashed cliffs, dotted with medieval houses, will stun you with their proportion and their sublime beauty. And should it all prove to be a bit overwhelming, it’s always nice to know that you can retreat to the Baumanière, perennial retreat of royals, statesmen and other leading lights since the day it opened for business in 1945.

Boscolo Lyon Hotel & Spa

Lyon, France

You know we’re fans of small-scale boutique hospitality, but we’re not closed-minded about it — there’s a time and a place for a proper, full-scale luxury hotel. One of those places happens to be Lyon, specifically the Presqu’île, the narrow peninsula between the the Rhône and the Saône rivers, in the heart of one of France’s biggest cities. Here you’ll find the luxury hotel you’re looking for, with just a hint of a surprise: for within this heritage building, which is classically, unmistakably French, Boscolo Lyon’s interiors come with a subtle Italian accent.

Domaine des Etangs

Massignac, France

To the extent that there is such a thing as the “typical” castle hotel (arguable, but bear with us), Domaine des Étangs is a departure. The storybook stone château, flanked by fortified towers, is present and accounted for. But rather than shoehorn a dozen modern hotel rooms into a medieval floor plan, inevitably leaving some unlucky guests with circular rooms, or staring out at the countryside through a three-inch-wide arrow-slit, here they’ve done something slightly more clever.

Chateau de la Resle

Montigny la Resle, France

Even if Château de la Resle were simply another elegant French hotel in the Burgundy wine country, the world would be a richer place — there’s no such thing as too many. But Château de la Resle is something far more special. On the outside it’s as classic as can be, its white-shuttered façade laced with climbing vines and standing above a perfectly tended garden, but inside it’s a genuine contemporary art and design showcase, curated by a pair of collectors with a burgeoning high-end home furnishings business. The result is a French château hotel like no other, where the romantic atmosphere of a 19th-century country manor combines with the plush comforts and visual style of a high-end modern design hotel.

Château Cordeillan-Bages

Pauillac, France

There are larger and more spectacular castles in France, but Château Cordeillan-Bages makes the most of its relatively intimate size. It’s set in the village of Bages, in the heart of Bordeaux’s Haut-Médoc wine region, on the left bank of the Gironde estuary — just a half-hour down the river from the city of Bordeaux itself, on the same estate that produces Château Lynch-Bages’ wines.

La Maison d’Estournel

Saint-Estephe, France

Why shouldn’t every wine estate also be a luxury boutique hotel? They’ve got all the ingredients, and then some: gorgeous grounds, a mild climate, a habitual attention to wine and food, and, at least in the case of the Cos d’Estournel estate, a beautiful house that’s practically begging to be shared with overnight guests. This, of course, is where La Maison d’Estournel comes in.

Aethos Corsica

Corsica, France

This rustic island isn’t exactly known for fashionable hotels, but Aethos Corsica breaks the mold in every way. Based in a 17th-century converted nobleman’s house, this chic property, now flying the flag of the Aethos “conscious exploration” brand, is a surprisingly sophisticated luxury boutique hotel — and one with an impressive art collection, featuring works by contemporary stars like Anish Kapoor, Daniel Arsham, and Paul de Pignol.

Les Pins de César

Saint-Jouin-Bruneval, France

For overseas visitors the south of France gets the lion’s share of attention, but the north has charms of its own. And it doesn’t get much more classic Normandy than this — five minutes from the white chalk cliffs of Étretat, France’s answer to Dover, set in a nature preserve full of Austrian black pines, is Les Pins de César, a family estate converted into a stylish and luxurious boutique hotel and spa.

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